ATBA Expresses Muted Praise for T-Mobile's LPTV Move

Group says that won't help stations having to exit due to auction
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The Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance says it is encouraged by T-Mobile's offer to pay for the moves of some LPTV stations and translators in the post-incentive auction repack but suggests that is cold comfort for stations that were sacrificed to the incentive auction. 

"T-Mobile and others spent millions to lobby Congress to sell them prime spectrum under the guise of a 'spectrum crunch,' which was proven not to exist," said ATBA following T-Mobile's announcement of its Supplemental Reimbursement Program. "As a result of the auction, hundreds of LPTV and translators with specific, unique and local programming will go off the air permanently."  

Still, the group was showing T-Mobile some love—though suggesting it was not covering all of the moving costs.

"We very much appreciate T-Mobile’s offer to offset some of the costs that many LPTV and translators will incur if forced to build twice — first, in response to T-Mobile’s letter providing the licensee 120 days to cease operating on its current channel and, second, if the station’s temporary displacement channel is no longer available after the FCC processes all of the applications filed in the upcoming LPTV special displacement window.” 

ATBA also pointed out that the T-Mobile offer sunsetsin three years, calling on the FCC to move quickly to process the applications filed in the special LPTV displacement window—which opens in November.

ATBA’s membership includes over 2,0000 LPTVs and translators.

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